Tag Archives: Liar

Where Am I?

The question isn’t is this embarrassing. No, the question is one of degree.

Just how embarrassing is it to get lost in your own “hometown?”

Even worse, this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. I’m beginning to think I might have a problem.

The first time was when I was in junior high school. (For those of you unfamiliar, that was the school between elementary [k-6] and high school [10-12].)

We had some friends come in from out of town. They wanted to go to Six Flags over Texas, which was just outside of the small suburb of Dallas where I grew up.

We managed to make it there all right, with only a few minimal disruptions. The problem came when we headed home and there weren’t any more signs leading us to our destination. This was (way, way, way) before cell phones or the like, so we were on our own. The older kids from out of town didn’t know which way to go and they looked to me for answers.

I turned around to see who they were looking at behind me. I had a vague notion of the direction to go, but it wasn’t all that good of a vague notion. I was asked — repeatedly and forcefully — how I could live in a town and not know my way around it. Mostly it was because I wasn’t driving yet and spent most of my car time with my nose buried in an actual paper book.

We didn’t starve to death. We eventually found our way home (hours and hours after curfew, but the parents had been too busy partying to really worry) and all was good.

Until the last weekend when I got that horrible flashback feeling. My friend, Pitt (who I’ve known since high school and who recently moved here from Pittsburgh) and I were headed to a fundraiser put on by the P Strong Foundation to raise money to support research into rare cancers.

I was in the driving seat, a position with which I was intimately familiar considering I’d been driving for more than three decades. I thought I knew my way around Charlotte. Turns out, I was wrong.

Pitt, who’s been here less than two years, knew where the event was. It was Pitt who knew where to park and how to get from the parking garage to the Bal Masque Gala at the Marriott City Center.

The first one I can blame on youth. The second time? I’m still going to blame that one on youth. Not my own, of course, but my young dudes. See, I’ve been so busy rearing the young dudes since I came to Charlotte fifteen years ago that I never got a chance to really know my way around the city. Unless you counted the areas around the Chuck E Cheese and other young-dude attractions.

That counts, right? You dudes are buying that, yeah? Right?

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State Of Emotion

Surveys are weird.

No, really. I mean, there’s stuff out there on the interweebs, some pushed by relatively sedate and well-respected organizations, that just make no sense.

Take, for instance, this interest survey that is designed to tell us what state of the United States you most resemble.

Yes. You read that right.

From the science portion of Time Magazine, the survey is designed to tell those taking it where they might best fit in amongst the 50 not-as-united-as-you-might-think states.State of emotion

It’s no secret that a lot of (our famously different personalities and cultures) seems to be determined by — or at least associated with — where we live.

Now a multinational team of researchers led by psychologist and American expat Jason Rentfrow of the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has sought to draw the regional lines more clearly, literally mapping the American mood, with state-by-state ratings of personality and temperament.

After having taken the test, I’ve found something interesting about myself. Apparently, I’d fit in best in the state of Oregon. I rank in the top 10 of openness and agreeableness, but low in every other measure. Which I did not expect. At all.

Of course, I hadn’t given it much thought. Certainly not as much thought as I’ve given to, for example, if I were a tree, what kind of tree I would be. That consumes a lot of brain power, let me tell you.

What? Why are you looking at me like that? It’s an important question*.

Moving on.

The survey results were based on data taken from more than 1 million people interviewed across the United States. It found some other interesting data that, again, I did not expect.

According to the study, the winners (or losers, depending on how you view these things) were in some cases surprising and in some not at all. The top scorers on extroversion were the ebullient folks of Wisconsin(picture the fans at a Packers game — even a losing Packers game). The lowest score went to the temperamentally snowbound folks of VermontUtah is the most agreeable place in the country and Washington, D.C., is the least (gridlock, anyone?).

For conscientiousness, South Carolina takes the finishing-their-homework-on-time prize, while the independent-minded Yanks of Maine — who prefer to do things their own way and in their own time, thank you very much — come in last. West Virginia is the dark-horse winner as the country’s most neurotic state (maybe it was the divorce from Virginia in 1863). The least neurotic? Utah wins again. Washington, D.C., takes the prize for the most open place — even if their low agreeableness score means they have no idea what to do with all of the ideas they tolerate. North Dakotans, meantime, prefer things predictable and familiar, finishing last on openness.

Why not go over to the site and take a gander at the test. I’d love to hear where you dudes and dudettes sorted out.

*If you must know, it’s an weeping atlas cyprus. For all the obvious reasons.

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22 And 45

Now we’re talking, dudes.

Barry and I sat down at Park Road Books yesterday with the best of intentions. We’d brought along some cheese and fruit and crackers, as well as some cold drinks and ice.

Oh, and a couple of very nice pens.

On the way in, we talked to Sherri, who set us up in the back of the store right next to the kiddie books. To me, that was the perfect place because, when there was a lull in visitors, I planned to get in a little browsing.

I didn’t get much browsing time, though. All you wonderful dudes and dudettes who showed up at Park Road Books to buy a copy of A Dude’s Guide to Babies and get it signed by Barry and me were absolutely wonderful. Sherri said the store ordered 40 copies of the book and expected to sell, maybe six or so on a relatively good day.

Instead, we managed to talk people into walking away with 22 copies of the book. We truly can’t thank you enough, dudes and dudettes. You’re wonderful!

Now, once you’ve read the book, head over to amazon.com and leave a review. Good or bad, we want to hear from you.

Again, thanks to the wonderful folks at Park Road Books and Sellers Publishing for setting this up.

On to the second number.

That number is one near and dear to the heart of my young Hyper Lad. It’s the number of school days left in the school year. Poor little dude.

He’s not looking forward to today’s resumption of school. He’s feeling a little pressure. Things are getting rather hard for him, almost as if he’s hitting some sort of wall. Which sounds very, very familiar.

His brother, Sarcasmo, hit the wall near the middle of his junior year in high school. Zippy the College Boy hit the wall in the middle of eighth grade. That wall, in case you didn’t know, is something most kids who have diagnosed learning disabilities hit at some point or other.

The wall is the point at which the young dude’s native intelligence and hard work aren’t enough to overcome the difficulties posed by the learning disability. Things go from being difficult to being hard. It’s never fun to see, but I’m glad it’s something we did notice.

Now that we know it’s there, we can start to work out ways to make sure and get Hyper Lad to work with or around that learning disability. It’s not going to be fun, but it is doable.

It’s always better to face your shortcomings and find a way to deal with them, rather than ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away. A hard lesson, but one well worth learning.

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